"[Gaga Stigmata has] very modern, edgy photography to free flowing, urban narratives without censure to analytical essays, et cetera—like Gaga, imagination without ... limits. And the beauty is that anyone can submit work to the site, so artists and writers from all over the [world] have joined this experiment." -The Declaration.org

"Since March 2010, [Gaga Stigmata] has churned out the most intense ongoing critical conversation on [Lady Gaga]."
-Yale's The American Scholar

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bled Threads: Chaun Martin

Gaga Stigmata: You are always so dressed up! Are you going to formal events like all the time, or do you tend to dress up wherever you go?

Chaun Martin: I would say I tend to dress up whenever I go out socially, but I definitely get “dandy” when I really step out on the town! I don’t go to formal events all the time, but when I em cee parties (www.chocolatenwine.com) or go to any type of event I make sure I’m looking my best. Looking my best usually means a suit with a tie or ascot and a nice pointy shoe.

GS: Who are you channeling, fashion-wise? 

CM: I like London Mod fashion/culture, old school Rat Pack/Ocean’s Eleven attire and I love Russell Brand’s style.

GS: You, of course, remind me of the dandy – of someone from a time and (sub)culture that lived for leisure, for refined & specific pleasures. How important is leisure to you? What is a typical evening (or daytime) like for you?

CM: I had never heard of a dandy until my friend Elaine Harley introduced it to me. I love the whole “dandy” aesthetic – a person who places particular importance on physical appearance, something excellent in its class. To me it’s a lifestyle. Leisure is very important to me. I work hard to play hard! Depending on the day of the week, the evening would start with dinner and then back to the house for cocktails and getting dressed to hit the town for fun with friends, dancing and continued cocktails.

GS: How do you think your appearance affects the way others respond to you? Are there any positive or negative experiences that stand out, particularly?

CM: People almost always respond to me in a positive way. My friends often tell me they can’t wait to see what I'm going to wear to certain occasions or events. For example, this year my partner and I will attend a New Year’s Eve ball for gay women of color. I plan to wear this odd-colored velvet dinner jacket, I will have my tailor reconstruct the entire collar and add more velvet accents to it. I like to express my dandyism most of the time. I think the only downfall is my friends’ expectation that I will always be “on point,” slacks and blazers. It almost makes it uncomfortable for me to show up somewhere not dressed up!

GS: I’ve seen butch & trans friends have crises over formalwear – they can’t find anything that fits or looks right, etc. Any advice on shopping, tailoring, etc.?

CM: Tailoring is definitely the key component when translating men’s fashion onto women’s bodies. If you’re shopping in the men’s department, a woman’s body shape is not going to fit the clothes properly, so we have to make sure to get our sleeves adjusted and pants hemmed or taken in depending on the size of our breasts or hips. Women’s shoulders are also more narrow than men’s, and that often means costly work on suit jackets. It can be expensive but in the end it’s worth it, because you will have an item that fits YOUR body. Also, even though you’re “butch” don't be afraid to shop in the women’s section from time to time! You’d be surprised how well some of the items fit without compromising your masculine flair.

Elaine and I have a website www.shedandy.com. It’s a work in progress but we are trying to provide a place for butch/stud women to go and view the latest in fashion, accessories, libations etc.

GS: Give us some more advice – on fashion, love, whatever.

CM: On fashion, I’d say accessories are very important. Your ties, pocket squares, tie clips, and scarves can all take a plain shirt and pants and turn the dandy on right away!

On love, I’d say fear is pointless and love like tomorrow may never come.

GS: How many pairs of glasses do you have?

CM: I had to laugh when I saw this question. My babe says it’s over 100 pairs, but I beg to differ. Probably about 75 or so! Lol – I think I might need a glasses intervention.

Chaun Martin is a supervisor for the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. She is 42 years old and lives in Los Angeles with her domestic partner of 6 years, Dana Moore. Chaun also bartends part-time and is the emcee for Chocolate and Wine parties. She is a workout fanatic.


  1. Great style, lovely interview

    I wish /I/ could pull off some of these threads. Fuckin' fierce

  2. I KNOW Chaun Personally and i must say she KNOWS exactly how to bring Excitement and even ENVY to FASHION!!! I anticipate watching Chaun and DANA strut their Stuff at any event.

  3. I have seen Chaun out a lot and think her style is quite becoming - for her. Not everyone can pull off what she does. Although I do not think her partner compliments her in fashion, I do think they make a lovely couple. Seems like they are from two different worlds, but apparently those worlds have collided in love. Bravo CM! Keep defining fashion the way u do.

  4. I've seen CM out socially also, [my opinion] her partner is very complimentary to her fashion. The difference is what makes the whole. Dandy and Classic. Very pleasing to the eyes.

  5. I love Chaun Style and she has a beautiful PERSONALITY which boost it even more! Keep bringing it Chaun because you have a style of your own and I love the way Dana compliment it when we see you out! Love you .... Jazzey!

  6. I have seen Chaun out and I love her style I might wear some of the things she wears... She reminds me of Prince... GREAT Style keep it up !!!

  7. I see Chaun out and know her personally, her style fits her size and some of the outfits that she wears only someone her size can wear. Fashion is all about the individual and how you can put things together and give different looks. My own opinion is her partner doesn't compliment her look in fashion they don't go together. But like they say opposites attrack!

  8. It's kind of unfair to speak on CM's partner's fashion when she is obviously much older and not quite as daring as CM may be. I think her partner dresses according to her age and is very appropriate. You woukdnt expect someone as seasoned as she to take the risk CM does. However, this article is about CM's flair, which, by all definition is truly her own! She has coined a style that only she can pull off and regardless of who she is standing next to, she will stand out and scream individuality!! Stay innovative CM!!


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